Review: Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret (Queer Pride)

Photo of Camila Diaz-Varela, Katie Sly and Nathan StreetSomething for everyone at this Toronto bi- and pansexual themed cabaret

Walking into the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, I will admit I was giddy. I’d heard about Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret after its initial show back in 2014, but this was my first time going — and as part of Pride, no less!

It’s a showcase of performances including poetry, dance, burlesque, song and visual art by and for people under the bi- and pansexual umbrella. Being bisexual myself, I wanted to know what it meant to other people to be bisexual. Settling into my seat, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

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Review: My Co-Mates and Brothers in Exile (Shakespeare in the Ruff)

IMG_0729“Charming and fun” immersive play engrosses children, adults alike in Toronto

Let me be very honest. When I was making the trek from the Ossington strip to North York to watch Shakespeare in the Ruff‘s production My Co-Mates and Brothers in Exile, created and directed by Eva Barrie, I wasn’t too excited about hanging out in the park. I’m a little embarrassed to admit (but not embarrassed enough to deny it to the public) but the thought of “Ugh, walking the entire time? Really?” did cross my mind when waiting for the show to start. As much as I love watching a good show, I also love sitting in a comfortable chair with a beer in hand.

While walking to the first location, as instructed, my feet dragged. I was acting more like a child than the 7-year-olds surrounding me! But that all changed as I walked into the first scene of this site-specific performance. Continue reading Review: My Co-Mates and Brothers in Exile (Shakespeare in the Ruff)

Review: 4.48 Psychosis (NSK Theatre)

Picture of Richard Veltri and Alina Starkov4.48 Psychosis Captures a State of Mind, Now Playing in Toronto

NSK Theatre is mounting a short run of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis in Toronto’s Storefront Theatre. 4.48 is a harrowing portrayal of depression and suicidal ideation, and the last work Kane produced before taking her own life in 1999.

I’ve heard 4.48 described as a very long suicide note being performed onstage. The play is not written with characters, just lines that could be divvied up between any number of actors. For this reason, any production of 4.48 will necessarily have a healthy dose of dramaturgy. So if the subject matter isn’t enough to make this a complex piece, this is a show that often forays into abstraction. Continue reading Review: 4.48 Psychosis (NSK Theatre)

Cheap Theatre in Toronto the Week of June 20th

Five Shows Under $25 in Toronto this Week

This week, it’s about variety: we’ve got some Pride picks, some plays about self-exploration, Shakespeare mash-ups and improv comedies involving playing cards. The best way to showcase the diverse theatre scene in the city is to give you a little bit of everything–and to do it for the affordable price of free! (Okay, only two are free, but the rest are under 25 dollars). Check ’em out under the cut! Continue reading Cheap Theatre in Toronto the Week of June 20th

Playlistings in Toronto for the Week of June 20th

Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of June 20th

The Fringe Festival is right around the corner, but there are plenty of great shows opening in the city this week to whet your appetite! This week, the new picks tend to favour less traditional fare and more open mics, mash-ups and unique cabarets. It’s Wayne’s turn this week to select his particular picks in the customary red text!

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Review: Davy the Punk (Town of York Historical Society)

Bob & Dave, then and now. Photo credit Paul Kay.Davy the Punk tells a personal tale of 1950s Toronto on stage at the Performing Arts Lodge

Bob Bossin’s Davy the Punk, produced by the Town of York Historical Society and based on Bob’s book of the same name, was a lovely show — a funny, touching, musical exploration of Davy Bossin’s life in the gambling underbelly of 1950s Toronto.

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Review: The James Play Trilogy (Luminato)

JamesLuminato presents an epic saga of Scottish kings, The James Play Trilogy, in Toronto

Luminato scored an absolute coup when it landed the North American premiere (and sole North American engagement) of the much-lauded epic, The James Play Trilogy. Written by Scottish playwright Rona Munro and originally produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, the triad of history plays details the lives of the James kings who ruled Scotland throughout the turbulent era in the 15th century.

While it has drawn comparisons to Game of Thrones or even Hamilton, I think those claims are overselling it, or at least setting the wrong expectations. Continue reading Review: The James Play Trilogy (Luminato)

Review: A Rose Upon the Blood (Flush Ink Productions)

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Rose Upon The Blood is an Enthralling, Affecting Play

The 1916 Easter Rising was a violent episode in Ireland’s history which saw the deaths of almost 500 people, half of them civilians. Through a mixture of live music and powerful acting, Flush Ink Productions A Rose Upon the Blood by Paddy Gillard-Bentley evokes the passion, struggle, and loss of that time. Continue reading Review: A Rose Upon the Blood (Flush Ink Productions)

Review: Monumental (Luminato)

img_8023_0Monumental was a cacophonous movement and sound theatre piece as part of Luminato Toronto

The Hearn is imposing even from a distance, and Monumental even more so within the space. Even when you are not sure how to get there, you can see the giant smoke stack stabbing into the sky. It is the perfect place to be washed in the music of post-rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor, entranced and horrified by the movements of Holy Body Tattoo, and lost in consideration of the text that appears on three large screens that frame the stage. This is an immersive experience. You are small, and the industrial world is in decay. It is a terrible, and beautiful, and profoundly bodily experience.

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